DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
For three quarters, Indian Creek couldn’t make host Greenwood Christian go
away in their boys basketball clash.
The fourth period was a different story, with Braves sophomore guard Tim Abel being the lead character.
In the final eight minutes, Abel made the Indian Creek side of the scoreboard look like an old pinball machine, scoring 18 of his game-high 30 points in the Braves’ 81-63 victory.
Class 3A Indian Creek improved to 3-0 on the season, while Greenwood Christian, who won their first Class A sectional championship last winter, dropped to 1-4.
Braves’ coach Derek Perry had no issues with his ballclub’s offense, but wasn’t satisfied with the Cougars’ ability to stay close for those first three quarters.
Indian Creek led by one point after the opening period, fell behind before regaining the lead to forge ahead by two points at halftime and owned a six-point edge going into the final quarter.
“That’s a credit to them,” Perry said of the Cougars’ offensive effectiveness, “but we had a bad day on defense. I was disappointed in our defense. We knew we could score, but we didn’t do everything we needed to gear to where we’re heading.
“It wasn’t because of a lack of effort. We had the effort, but we didn’t have good positioning. We were a little bit better in the second half, but not where we need to be.”
The Braves led by seven points at 11-4 midway in the first period, but Greenwood Christian bounced back and took a one-point advantage at 20-19 to begin the second quarter. The Cougars led by as many as three before the half before the Braves’ Dylan Phair hit a long three-point shot off the backboard to put the visitors up 33-31 at the break.
The Cougars stayed close throughout the third quarter, but fell behind by six at the end of the period when Jared DeHart buried a three-pointer from the left side as time ran out.
From then on, Abel took over and Indian Creek coasted toward staying unbeaten.
Greenwood Christian coach Jamie Satre lamented too many mistakes and too many offensive rebounds by the Braves doomed his team’s chances, but was still encouraged.
“Our turnovers and a lot of offensive rebounds by them really hurt us. They got some easy baskets and a couple of and-ones in the fourth quarter,” Satre said. “But we really made some big steps in what we want to do and where we want to be.”
Backing Abel were DeHart with 16 points and Phair with 10 for Indian Creek, which hit 32 of 57 shots from the floor for 56.1 percent.
The Cougars, who shot 51.0 percent for the night, were led by Noah Singleton, who tallied 15 points. Hunter Slater and Mark Gibson added 13 and 10 points, respectively.